My mother shared her love of Broadway musicals with me, so from a young age I was hooked.
One of my favorites is "The Sound of Music," but I've only ever seen the Julie Andrews movie version. So when I found out that Muhlenberg College in Allentown would be performing it this month as part of its annual Summer Music Theatre season, I jumped at the chance to go.
I'd never seen a show at Muhlenberg before, so it was also my first visit to the Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre. It is a new and intimate venue that was a perfect setting for the show. In fact, I don't think there is a bad seat in the place!
As the show started, I was immediately impressed by the elaborate sets, from the abbey and the mountainside, to the terrace and living room at the villa. The production team did a great job maximizing every inch of space on the rather small stage.
The lead characters of Maria and Captain Georg von Trapp were expertly performed by alumni Courtnay Griswold and Troy Dwyer, an assistant professor in the college's Theatre Department. Courtnay gave Maria the right mix of innocence, femininity, and maternal instinct. Her renditions of "Do-Re-Mi" and "The Sound of Music" showed off her wide vocal range and great ability.
Troy's interpretation of the Captain made him firm yet sensitive which I thought made him easier to like after his transformation from stern military man to loving father. Accompanying himself on guitar, his rendition of "Edelweiss" was colored with heartbreak as he and his family prepared to leave his beloved Austria.
I was also delighted with the performance of the pinnacle song "Climb Every Mountain" by Traci Ceschin as Mother Abbess. The way she hit and held the final high note in the song left me with goosebumps.
The actors playing the von Trapp children were charming and adorable too!
"The Sound of Music" continues through Sunday. Some tickets are still available. I suggest you snatch them up before they are gone!